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Comment Re:Apple stifling innovation in lawsuit (Score 2, Insightful) 1184

Game changers earn a short-term first-mover advantage, and given the revenues generated from Apple's iPhone division I don't think they've had any shortage of THAT. Longer term, people will copy innovators and incrementally improve on their new technology, and everybody benefits as a result, in the form of accelerated innovation and lower prices. As the law stands right now, competition is severely hindered in order to extract even more exorbitant revenue than what the Free Market(R) naturally has to offer. You can't have a competitive marketplace when you have to ask the incumbent's permission to compete with them.

Anyway, fuck Apple and fuck the iPhone. Dictatorial control wrapped up in a shiny package, and the masses love it. It is the antithesis of the equalising power of technology that made the field so attractive to me in the first place.

Comment Because, in my opinion, it looks really ugly. (Score 1) 818

If I'm going to use a desktop for hours on end then I'd prefer that it had aesthetics that don't make me barf. Primary colours everywhere, sharp specular highlights, drop shadows, grey gradients, chunky 3D bezel effects, even the spacing between visual elements and their sizes are just all horribly wrong. I can't understand how anybody could stand looking at that, but I guess KDE has a sufficiently large user base that at least some people disagree.

GNOME 3 might not be ideal, but at least it looks nice. Actually, in my opinion, I think it looks even nicer than Apple's stuff, but again that's just my personal sense of aesthetics talking. If they made the workspace management a little less rudimentary (e.g. if they went back to having a fixed number of workspaces that you could create and destroy on the fly, and allowed you to re-arrange the workspaces themselves as opposed to just the windows on them), then I think I could get used to it. It's still extremely bare in terms of currently-implemented functionality, but hopefully this will improve over time.

Networking

$300M To Save 6 Milliseconds 524

whoever57 writes "A new transatlantic cable (the first in 10 years) is going to be laid at the cost of $300M. The reason? To shave 6ms off the time to transmit packets from London to New York. The Hibernian Express will reduce the current transmission time — roughly 65 milliseconds — by less than ten percent. However, investors believe the financial community will be lining up to pay premium rates to use the new cable. The article suggests that a one-millisecond advantage could be worth $100M per year to a large hedge fund."

Comment Re:Pretty Ironic.... (Score 1) 185

So that would be why all those towns full of "retards that can't take care of themselves" such as Detroit and Camden see their population dry out rapidly?

Come on mate, please don't swallow this "welfare queen" propaganda. It is not in your best interest, never mind the best interests of the world at large.

Comment Re:Modern Computers do come with BASIC (Score 2, Interesting) 330

You're kidding about VBScript, right? Short of abusing Scripting.Dictionary in some rather awful ways you can't even define data structures in it, and writing code that spans more than one module involves the use of some obtuse XML crap (.scs files) which most people don't even know about. VBScript has its place but using it for anything other substantially more complex than short straight-line automation scripts is lunacy.

You could write some ephemeral JavaScript programs in an .html file that can't even interact with the filesystem, sure, but these creations would be obvious fourth-class citizens on your shiny 21st century computer, which doesn't yield a particularly satisfying experience for the novice programmer.

No, if a kid with an internet connection wants to start programming stuff then in some senses the ground has never been more fertile. Even if you're not willing to leave Win32 you can quickly and easily download IDLE or a win32 build of Ruby, and the latter has plenty of really gentle tutorials to ease a novice into the world of programming, to the point where the interested reader could probably stumble oneward from there through Wikipedia well enough for most of the intermediate concepts to stick. The sort of things you can easily accomplish with MinGW and a bit of Googling today would have absolutely blown my ten year old mind back when anything above the level of BASIC was a forbidden art unheard of outside of obscure BBSes (which show up on your parents' phone bill) or a university library.

On the other hand, a modern PC environment is a frightfully complicated beast compared to an Amiga or a Spectrum. That I think is far more of a problem than the availability of simple tools and documentation these days... that and a more comfortable consumption-oriented environment on a modern desktop that doesn't force you to make your own fun.

Comment Nobody ever mentions the second part of that quote (Score 1) 346

"but if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines including Google do retain this information for some time, and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities."

Which is basically the most direct way of saying "the NSA has a gun to my head" that that is available to him. Honestly, I'm not all that worried about Google in and of itself. They seem to be fairly transparent about what they do and why they collect that information in the first place, and they are staffed by a lot people with similar views to the prevailing opinion on Slashdot (though these views are necessarily going to be much more moderate than a lot of the views expressed here, or they wouldn't be working for Google in the first place).

No, the fact that Google is a treasure trove of personal information for the United States' various three-letter agencies is far more worrying to me than any ill will on the part of Google, particularly given the US' eagerness to conduct national and corporate espionage to secure themselves any economic advantage for the United States. Or to scour the world for all the entities that they might consider to be a threat, real or imagined. Naturally I'm just another unimportant geek and not a visionary engineer or a trade negotiator, so I shouldn't have anything to fear personally from this system (yet, anyway), but nonetheless I still find this unbridled use of dirty tactics to be morally repugnant. /That/ is the real message we should be hearing about Google, but I doubt that it lines up with the interests of whoever is controlling this particular drawerful of sock puppets.

Comment Re:Another stupid idea that will increase the defi (Score 5, Interesting) 1139

A private consortium tried just that back in 1991 in Texas. Then Southwest Airlines called in a few favours and had the project destroyed (some details on Wikipedia here.). Free market capitalism may or may not have worked here (if it did then one could certainly expect other consortia to follow suit) but the Texas state government never gave us a chance to find out.

Comment Re:This is why I was for the Nexus One (Score 1) 415

Nexus One has precisely this problem, which is why I didn't buy it. It comes with a Facebook app and an Amazon MP3 Store app, neither of which are removable without rooting the phone. Yes there's an officially sanctioned mechanism for rooting and reflashing the devide, but I shouldn't have to void the warranty to remove unwanted functionality.

Comment Re:I do! (Score 1, Insightful) 757

For fifty freaking bucks a month, just so you can send text messages AND make calls? are you fucking kidding me?

My experience of America so far is that for every walk of life there's a government-backed corporate monopoly eager to bend you over the barrel, but even by American standards the GSM networks are fucking highway robbery (yes I know Verizon isn't even GSM, but they're no better in any other respect either). I have my own non-smart phone and I want to continue using it instead of switching to your country's third-world technology.

No, fuck T-Mobile and fuck every other carrier over here too. Why should I beg and show gratitude for something that's a basic service in every other part of the world.

Comment Re:GPU Parallel processing (Score 1) 973

Brute-forcing problems are exponential in key size, though. Add a few more bits to your key, and even if you could turn the entire mass of the sun into Tesla blades, cool it, and power it, then that still wouldn't help you. It's true that the last few years have seen the emergence of commodity hardware with some truly terrifying amounts of compute power, but these security standards are engineered against "turn-the-solar-system-into-a-supercomputer" assuptions of adersarial compute power just to account for semi-unexpected revolutions such as these.

Something else is probably afoot here.

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